Are Apple and H-P Finally Cleaning Up Their Acts?

A nonprofit rights group has found that companies including Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Motorola Solutions (NYSE:MSI), and Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HPQ) are acting on the campaign to end the use of conflict minerals in their products. However, the Enough Project placed Nintendo at the bottom of its ranking and also named HTC, Sharp, Nikon and Canon (NYSE:CAJ) for a lack of progress.

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The Project ranked companies on basis of efforts to trace the source of minerals and metals tungsten and whether audits of supply chains were held. It also took into account environmental rankings and whether the company expressed support for legislation on conflict minerals, according to Reuters.

It found that Intel, Motorola Solutions, HP, and Apple “have moved forward to develop solutions despite delays in the legislative rule-making process by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC — an excuse that many other companies have used to explain their lack of significant action,” the report said.

It singled out HP as “the most active corporate participant in a diplomacy work group” on Congo. The report also found that SanDisk (NASDAQ:SNDK), Philips (NYSE:PHG), Sony (NYSE:SNE), Panasonic (NYSE:PC), Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM), and AMD (NYSE:AMD) had significantly improved their efforts.

The SEC is set to vote on August 22 on guidelines needed to enforce the conflict minerals law. As part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, companies are required to disclose whether they use tantalum, tin, gold, or tungsten from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Congo has about 70 percent of the world’s supply of coltan, a mineral needed in mobile phones, as well as massive amounts of tin, gold, copper, and cobalt.

According to the Enough Project, the results are apparent on the ground in the Congo as the amount of money armed groups make off three of the main conflict minerals has dropped 65 percent over the past two years.

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